from the New Mexico News Connection - A statewide news service for New Mexico
Santa Fe - A report from the New Mexico Wildlife Federation details an alleged pattern of "pay-to-play" at the state's Game Commission and Department of Game and Fish, and the report includes recommendations to the incoming Governor. The report shows an alleged pattern of deference to special interests and lack of transparency and Federation spokesperson Joel Gay says, "The commission in the past has done things like propose a rule change the night before a game commission meeting and then vote on it."
The report alleges ongoing problems that stem from commissioners being appointed as a reward for contributing to gubernatorial election campaigns. Commission members and Governor Richardson have denied any connection between appointments and campaign contributions. Gay says the influence of special interests on the Commission and the Department of Game and Fish leads to sportsmen getting short shrift. He points to decisions regarding antelope licenses for hunters, "The commission has steadfastly refused to make more licenses available to the everyday hunters in New Mexico, and we believe that that's a reflection of these special interests that they have."
The Wildlife Federation report also provides recommendations to Governor-Elect Susana Martinez to appoint commissioners that are more representative of New Mexicans, and that she conduct an open, transparent search to bring new leadership to the Department of Game and Fish.
There are more details from the report at www.nmwildlife.org .
Eric Mack reporting, firstname.lastname@example.org